Muskegon Athletic Club simultaneously tantalizes taste buds with its menu, cleanses palates with its libations, and appeases peepers with its 23 high-definition sports-centric TVs. Appetizers, including fried calamari ($9), lime jalapeño hummus ($7), and bacon and cheese potato cakes ($5.50), kick off marathon meals and stretch out stomachs for the next leg of the feasting frenzy. Main courses center around club specialties, including a london broil ($14), a heap of house-made meatloaf ($10), and a septet of savory mac 'n' cheeses. The house mac comes fromaged with white cheddar, provolone, and parmesan ($7), and the mac florentine sates artistic appetites with a handsome hoard of white cheddar, spinach, and basil served personally by the statue of David ($9).
Wolfies's cooks appease aggressive appetites with a menu of hand-tossed pizzas and subs forged from hearty ingredients. Challenge chompers to vanquish the formidable Junkyard pizza, a cheese-smothered symphony of meats, including pepperoni, ground beef, and bacon, accompanied by an ensemble of green peppers and scat-singing mushrooms ($19.99 for 14"). The Farmer's Market pizza ($17.99 for 14") is a vegetarian utopia where onions, olives, and tomatoes coexist without bickering about the difference between fruit and vegetables. The Wicked Wolf Laker sub's carnivorous creation is composed of a half-pound burger shrouded in roast beef and ham ($7.99) and the Yacht Club sub ($6.99) invites palates aboard a savory vessel crewed by turkey, bacon, and ham. Arrange a virtual meeting of your speed-parcheesi team using Wolfies's free wireless Internet or call ahead to reserve the Side Room, a 20-person seating area replete with a television and DVD and VCR players.
Brown Bag Boutique's fashion savants stock their clothing racks with new, revamped, and vintage looks for women. Jewelry lends its sparkle to outfits, with shoppers festooning lobes with head-turning earrings ($4–$6) or tossing bracelets ($4–$6) around their wrists as passing carnival barkers cheer. Fashion seekers can cozy up to denim by slipping their legs into Silver Jeans Co. jeans ($22–$26), as evening gowns and prom dresses ($49+) spark memories of dancing to romantic music under flickering lights. While perusing new ensembles, gals can step up to a tall mirror nestled against the boutique's bright yellow walls to scan over potential duds or chastise their reflections for ruining an otherwise accurate vampire costume.
At Handsome Hobo Pizzeria, the chefs put a local American twist on classic Italian cuisine. In the kitchen, they toss risottos with vegetables and seafood, and pastas with meats and sauce. They also prepare both Chicago-style deep-dish and New York-style thin-crust pizzas. At the bar, 16 wines pour from a refrigerated tap. The aromas of herbs and spices waft through an eclectic space created by interior designer and HGTV Star finalist Tylor Devereaux, conjuring an atmosphere that seems to fit the restaurant's name. Seats gather on the outside rims of striped banquettes, and against a brass-topped table curved around an open fire pit. The restaurant's walls, some painted and others covered with reclaimed wood, are hung with everything from vintage signs to typewriters.
Balancing on its hind legs, a polar bear stares intently outward, unaware of the grizzly rearing up behind it. This is the taxidermy trophy room at Whitlow's Forerunner, where heavy forks subdue similarly ravenous appetites in the adjacent dining room. Sirloin steak is paired with eggs at breakfast, or a juicy porterhouse arrives with a baked potato and greens from the salad bar, both of which accompany all of Whitlow's Forerunner’s dinners. American staples such as griddlecakes and patty-melt portraits of President William Howard Taft fill out the menu, but the kitchen's surprise specialty is seafood. The chefs casts a wide net, reeling in perch, rainbow trout, and even frog legs, which are among the marine delicacies deemed tasty enough for their all-you-can-eat dinners.
Fazoli's serves hearty Italian dishes such as oven-baked pastas, sub sandwiches, and pizzas. Dig into a baked penne with either chicken, broccoli, and alfredo sauce or marinara and meat sauces and mozzarella. A meatball smasher or turkey club italiano makes the perfect handheld meal while lighter options such as ravioli and salad bowls include taste buds with fewer calories.